Bengaluru: “It is not like we are not sensitive towards the environment. We all want to take bicycles to work or probably walk to the nearest public transport at least, but where are the footpaths. Where do we walk?” wonders 35-year-old Supratim Mitra, who works in a private MNC in the city and stays in Whitefield. “People do not want to take cars, but that is the only option that is left for us. We cannot walk on these footpaths and more importantly there are no footpaths at so many stretches.”
The latest Street Quality Score 2015 survey report, released by Janaagraha, reveals that only 58 per cent of footpaths in city are pedestrian-friendly and only nine per cent of intersections have pedestrian crossings. Sadly, it is only adding to the traffic burden, while the authorities turn a deaf ear to the city residents’ plight. The latest survey has got the IT city talking about the plight of commuters.
In a chat with Deccan Chronicle, Supratim and his wife Uttara highlight the commuter's plight and the civic authorities apathy. “We do not need a report to state the horrific conditions of our roads and intersections. When the roads are not commuter-friendly, what can we expect from footpaths and side roads. Either there are none where it is needed badly or the road stretches where there are footpaths they are not even in proper condition for people to walk,” said Uttara, who is pregnant and is quick to highlight. “It is a nightmare for pregnant women and the elderly to even walk on these footpaths. I used to be so scared that I have totally stopped walking on these roads. I prefer taking my car out.”
“For me to go to Outer Ring road, which is only one kilometre away, I can easily walk, but, since there is no footpath and the auto drivers charge a huge amount of money to take me to the nearest bus stop, I am forced to take my car out. This situation is true for many who stay in Bengaluru East. No wonder you see so many cars on the road,” Supratim said. “These roads are classic examples of planning and taxpayer’s money gone to waste,” Uttara added.
As for the solution, Supratim said, “What we need is a re-look at the planning and well thought out plans for better roads and crossings. It would help to reduce burden on the traffic community. We need quality of infrastructure and services at the street-level. We need good engineers to look at these issues.”
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